Looking for a soccer training individual defending skills?
Minutes: 10 to 15
Players: Groups of 4
Objectives: To take on and beat a defender; to improve individual defending skills
Setup: Use markers to form a 10- by 40-yard area for each group of four, divided into four equal zones 10 by 10 yards. Position one player in each zone. The player (attacker) in zone 1 has the ball and faces the other three players (defenders).
Procedure: The attacker tries to dribble past the defenders stationed in zones 2,3, and 4. Defenders are restricted to their assigned zone. If an attacker dribbles past a defender in one zone, he or she continues forward to take on the player in the next zone. A defender who steals the ball immediately returns it to the attacker so that the attacker can continue to advance to take on the defender in the next zone. After taking on the defender in zone 4, the attacker remains in that zone to play as a defender in the next round. Each of the original defenders moves forward one zone. The player who moves into zone 1 becomes the attacker for round 2. Repeat until each player has taken five turns as the attacker.
Scoring: Attackers score 1 point for each defender they beat on the dribble. The player who totals the most points after five turns as an attacker wins.
Practice tips: Station defenders on the back line of their respective zones. From this position, they can move forward to challenge once the attacker enters their area. Prohibit slide tackles.